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The goal of the Styles L. Hutchins (SLH) Fellowship is to create a plan that will work to make Chattanooga a city where diverse talent can live, work and thrive as young professionals. To that end, the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 cohort of SLH Fellows conducted research and collected data on local student and young professional perspectives and experiences related to career opportunities and support.

After review of their findings, the Fellows proposed a Mentorship Pilot Program to address the perceived gaps in professional opportunities and support for Black students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). The Fellows hypothesized that if there was a structured way to create a stronger connection between Black students and professionals in Chattanooga, they would be more likely to stay and thrive as young professionals upon graduation.

The goal of the SLH Professional Mentorship Pilot Program is to connect Black juniors and seniors at UTC to diverse professionals in their career field, and through professional mentorship and guidance, establish a foundation of support that will help them successfully transition into their professional careers in Chattanooga. This pilot program is a unique, intentional effort to support career-minded students and help achieve the SLH Fellowship’s ultimate goal of attracting and retaining young Black talent in Chattanooga.

The SLH Professional Mentorship Pilot Program will run from January through April 2021 and will pair 10 Black UTC juniors and seniors with mentors who will provide career-focused support and guidance during the Spring 2021 academic semester. The Pilot Program will consist of biweekly meetings between mentee and mentor focused on professional development, monthly events with all participants, and optional professional networking opportunities.

Mentors

The SLH Professional Mentorship Pilot Program is looking for diverse professionals living and working in Chattanooga to mentor Black UTC juniors or seniors to help achieve the SLH Fellowship’s ultimate goal of attracting and retaining young, Black talent in Chattanooga. 

Mentors must be prepared to commit to bi-weekly virtual check-ins with their mentor and weekly communications via phone and/or email to share their professional skills and strategies, and help grow and foster a professional relationship with their mentee. A Mentorship Playbook, schedule of meetings and networking events and necessary support will be provided to those individuals who are selected to become mentors. 

Applications closing soon.

Benefits of becoming a mentor

  • Help create a connection between UTC students and professionals working in Chattanooga
  • Share lived experiences and advice on navigating the professional world 
  • Share professional skills and strategies with a new generation of young professionals
  • Help create a sense of belonging for Black students entering their careers

Mentees

The SLH Professional Mentorship Pilot Program is looking for Black UTC juniors and seniors who want professional guidance and mentorship to help build their professional skills and establish a pathway to success in Chattanooga. 

Students must be prepared to commit to bi-weekly virtual check-ins with their mentor and weekly communications via phone and/or email to assist in the development and support of their professional skills and network with other professionals in their career field. 

Applications closing soon.

Benefits of becoming a mentee

  • Develop relationships with experienced professionals and their networks in the Chattanooga area
  • Gain exposure to diverse professionals, internships and job opportunities in your career field of interest
  • Grow professionals skills and knowledge through training and one-to-one interactions with your mentor and other support groups

For questions about the SLH Professional Mentorship Pilot Program contact Katie Wells at kwells@chattanooga.gov